Christine is on a mission with this book: that mission is to changed popular perceptions about how rheumatoid arthritis is perceived by the public. The book's title refers to a spoilt night out at the Oscars. Which for Christine was devastating as you can imagine. But that's only part of what the book is all about.
if Christine's secret disease, RA had got out, it could have ended her beloved TV career as a fashion expert. Add to that the fear of TV abandoning her, which in turn triggered childhood fears of being left out and abandoned, all this on top of the physical pain and the day by day torture of living with RA. Christine details how the disease took away bits of her life and dignity. And then she details "the fight back", and oh boy does she fight back.
The key message is it's not a disease that only affects the very old. RA affects young people and teenagers too. I get gout, that flares up about 3 times a year. Its sounds very similar to rheumatoid arthritis in many ways, but a gout attack only lasts a few days.
The book demonstrates to the reader just how vicious and relentless RA can be. The fatigue saps your strength then pain, restricts your mobility. I can't imagine how it would be if I had my gout symptoms all the time.
But may be, after reading this book I can. Utter despair. Gout is like if someone hits your foot with a sledge hammer on a freezing cold winters day. Now put your shoes on. Go on try I dare you… So I identify with the pain described in the book.
Christine writes in a style which is like a giant pendulum first slowly swinging from accounts of misery and pain, then swinging slowly over to the sun lit mountain tops of life in California. Back and forth. I read with interest about the day Christine was "friend for a day with Oprah", the tension and the nerves of appearing late and unprepared for the show. With a little help from the super professional Oprah, Christine survived the day, and the pendulum swung to disaster, then back to a happy ending.
Why, I love the book, the cloud has a silver lining, Christine's eyes were opened, the vanity of TV has worn off, now she is in remission from the pain and is now the heavy weight fighter for people struggling with chronic pain and disease all over the world via her work for an arthritis charity. So now that the RA storm has passed over Christine she has the vain world of fashion in perspective.
My hero is physicist professor Stephen Hawking, imagine how he copes? First doctors told him he would die, then in 1985 on a trip to CERN he almost choked to death after he contracted pneumonia, medics had to cut a hole in his throat, so he could breathe, that's why he speaks with that famous text to speech voice. By 2009 he was almost totally paralysed, Stephen has the strongest mind on this planet. Possibly the entire universe.
Hats off to the BBC they have been giving Stephen Hawking prime time TV work on science programmes in the UK for years. The Steven Hawking example illustrates Christine's point, Age and or disability should not be a reason why we should give up on ourselves or other people who have a chronic disease or disability.
This review was of the kindle edition
This is a wonderful book and is highly recommended
Paul Kendall (Leeds UK)
To buy this book or get the free kindle sample click here> http://www.amazon.com/Take-Home-Oscars-Television-ebook/dp/B005OK3VDO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1319854580&sr=1-1